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How to get a job in a recession: the cities, sectors and firms on a hiring drive

Marianna Hunt
·3-min read
A map of Britain covered in pound signs 
A map of Britain covered in pound signs

This is a four-part series on how to boost your career during the coronavirus pandemic. We'll be looking at the best-paid professions still hiring, the cities and sectors currently recruiting, the skills to learn to boost your salary and how to get a pay rise in a recession. 

Job postings have more than halved since Britain entered lockdown, yet there are still 26 cities where there are more vacancies than people out of work.

Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester are some of the best places to find a job at the moment, according to research by jobs site Adzuna in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions. They also found that, while some sectors and companies are undergoing huge staff cuts, others are motoring ahead with new hires

Cambridge is the best place to find a new job 

In Cambridge there are 2,573 live job postings and 403 people currently claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA). That means there are currently more than six jobs available for every person out of work. The average salary in Cambridge is £38,964 a year – almost £9,000 higher than across the rest of Britain

The next best cities with the most available jobs are Oxford and Manchester which have five and four vacancies per jobseeker respectively. Following them are Winchester, Exeter, Bristol and Southampton. Salaries in all of these places are higher than the national average. In each of them the number of people without work is half the number of live job postings or less. 

The cities with the most vacancies per jobseeker
The cities with the most vacancies per jobseeker

Job hunters in London have more competition: the ratio of jobs to those claiming out-of-work benefits is 1.6. 

At the other end of the scale, the places with the fewest jobs and most people looking for work are clustered in the north of England and Northern Ireland. In Sunderland, Bradford, Salford and Hull, there are between double and quadruple the amount of people out of work as advertised positions while in Belfast it is 1.5-times as many.  

Across the country is it employers working in health and social care, logistics and education that are most desperate for staff. The employer with the most live vacancies is the NHS. It has 25,129 advertised roles, some of which require no previous experience.  

After that it is care provider Barchester Healthcare and online retailer Amazon, which have 4,882 and 1,675 jobs on offer respectively. Care UK, another care operator, and Spires Online Tutoring, a website for private tutors, both have more than 1,000 jobs currently advertised on Adzuna.

Bristol has the most IT jobs 

Across the country there are most jobs available within healthcare and the IT sector, with 69,135 and 43,475 advertised roles in each. Other sectors still hiring in large numbers include teaching, construction and finance. 

Those looking to work in healthcare will have the most luck in the capital, where there is the highest number of available jobs for doctors, nurses and other medical workers. Next best are Manchester and Liverpool. For IT workers, Bristol, Cambridge and Edinburgh offer the widest range of job opportunities. 

How to get a new job in a recession
How to get a new job in a recession

In teaching, construction and finance London once again is the best place, with Manchester and Birmingham both also having a large number of vacancies in those areas. 

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said it was encouraging to see hiring confidence in various sectors and pockets of the country. “We’re continuing to support people into critical roles and our new Job Help site is there to support people right now, connecting them to thousands of jobs which are currently available,” she added.  

Use our salary comparison tool to find out how your salary compares to others in your occupation here